Laurent Garnier and Carl Craig

BBE's Kings Of compilation series invites high-profile producers (Wu Tang Clan's the RZA, Dimitri from Paris) to dig in the crates and mix together some favorite tracks. Normally a fun but lightweight exercise, the concept can inspire surprisingly meaningful work, as Laurent Garnier and Carl Craig's The Kings of Techno proves. The two techno icons compile a disc each for this double-disc set. Garnier's mix is a tribute to Detroit artists, from Jeff Mills and Adult to the Stooges and Funkadelic, while Craig explores techno's Eighties roots such as Italo-disco (Alexander Robotnick's "Dance Boy Dance") and electronic body music (Nitzer Ebb's "Join in the Chant"). Both DJs exhibit excellent taste and subtle sonic wizardry: Garnier, for example, fades from Aretha Franklin's classic "Rock Steady" and into Arpanet's computeresque "NTT DoCoMo." Gleefully self-referencing one another — Craig plays Martin Circus's "Disco Circus," and Garnier plays Underground Resistance's "Disco Circus"-sampling "Amazon" — the kings of techno collaborate on something deeper than your average mix. — Mosi Reeves


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